Imagine, if you will, a music venue. The place is packed. The support band has just finished, and now we are waiting for the roadies to get the stage ready for the main event. It is here that I catch up with author, O. F Marz. While we quickly head to the bar to grab ourselves a drink, why don't you take a look at O.F Marz's latest book.
Bill and Jenny Mancini set off on a vacation to Jackson National Park located in the beautiful state of Virginia. Their idea is to catch a ride on the Appalachian Trail and enjoy some of what is to be a huge mountain bike event. Their plans go awry when one of the contestants in the race is killed in an accident and they have to shut the event down.
Then they meet Skinner.
A vacation and a break from the mundane turns into survival and tests the limits of their relationship with each other. In the end, it proves one thing. Even hatred in the hearts of others cannot break their connection.
MY: It is a pleasure to meet you. I think we just about have enough time to do this interview before the band starts! Can you describe your journey to becoming an author?
OM: I had started a project entitled “365 Ways To Be A Bassist”. It was based on some works I was reading at the time; daily inspirationals and such. I was on my way to building up my faith and I thought, “Shoot, I can do that. I can write an inspirational; something that would pick people’s spirits up on a daily basis.” So I set off to it. Out of 365 days, I only got about 40 done. Yeah, it’s harder than it sounds. Then I got a call from my Dad. He had set plans to visit his sister, my Aunt Bea, in New York. Her health was deteriorating and he wanted to spend some quality time with her before the inevitable. So, I suggested he take a copy of this with him. I printed it out and explained to him it was to be read one day at a time and to let her know it was my contribution to her feeling better, just a little bit.
It was genius. Each day was entitled with some play on words in music theory. My personal favorite, “Just because you can keep a beat, doesn’t make you a drummer.” How is that inspirational, you ask. The core of that thought was to let the reader know that, “Yeah, we all drop the ball. It’s gonna happen. It’s what you do to get yourself back up again.”
So when my Dad came back from New York, he was blown away. He hadn’t read any of it before going, but when he had read a couple of days to her, he was impressed. So was my Aunt. They both pushed me to start writing and really get out there. My Dad encouraged me by showing me some of his early work. He wrote some poetry, fiction, unpublished, of course. He also did some local history work for our church. Much of his writing is in the church’s archives.
I figured, why not. Let’s see what happens, I thought. So I set to it. Starting out with the idea of something I enjoyed and knew a lot about, cycling, I got to thinking. What would happen if you went to a mountain biking event and something tragic happened? And boom. The core of Satan’s Courtier was born.
MY: It is great when family members are so encouraging. What does your average writing day look like?
OM: Fueled by coffee to the right of me, split screens on my laptop with notes on one side, Microsoft Word on the other with jazz music; either Duke Ellington or Billie Holiday, in the background. Mostly in the evening, that’s when I write.
MY: Are there any authors that you particularly admire?
OM: James Patterson, Stephen King, Oscar Wilde, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Edgar Allen Poe. Why? They all have one thing in common. They can paint a picture of a scene, an event, and have you actually visualize it. The way these people write makes you feel you are right there with the characters. Also, there’s a certain edge; almost hypnotic how they draw you in and you have to find out what happens. You become addicted, somehow, to their writing and their stories.
MY: Could you tell us what you are currently working on?
OM: Oh, you guys are gonna love this. I have a great deal of passion towards the house I grew up in. It still stands, but for how long, who knows. A family lives there, but it is in need of work. This is my attempt to make this house carry on after its, and my, demise. So here it is.
The current working title, “In The Dark Soul”, tells the story of a very evil woman, this sister of the original owner that passes away. She takes over the house after he dies and becomes the scurge of the area. Children fear her, adults hate her. Fast forward twenty or so years, we meet the total opposite. The young couple that buys the house are the perfect young couple; they’re trying to start a family and it just doesn’t happen. Until one day, the man gets a promotion, she finds out she’s pregnant. They go out to celebrate only to get in a massive car wreck and die.
In comes me. Well, the littler me. Our family buys the house, and as I am born in 1971, we’re there for about 10 years before we move to a less negative part of town. By 1980, this area is going downhill. But before we do move, we get “visits”. We experience things; strange noises in the attic, voices, etc. My Mom sees fit to get a medium inside the house. This is where we “meet” the young, good couple. We find out they wanted children so much, they start following us around. This part of the book is based on true experiences I can attest to. And that’s just the start. More to come.
MY: Wow! That sounds amazing. Do you have any advice to those thinking about writing a book?
OM: It would be just this. Write to make yourself happy. You aren’t going to get rich, you won’t make everyone happy. Just write for yourself. Walk away from a project knowing that if one person is entertained, you can’t go wrong.
MY: Good advice. Authors are often portrayed as cat owners and drinkers of coffee… Is this true of you?
OM: You’ll have to forgive me. I need to set my computer down to go clean up the coffee spill my cat, Tank, just made.
MY: Lol! What does your perfect day look like?
OM: Tuesday. My Wife is off and as of late, that’s quality time day. We have a chance to do stuff as a family once the boy gets out of preschool. The daughter is still in school, though.
MY: What would you say is your biggest vice?
OM: I’ve quit a lot of things that are bad and have gone to puttering with tech and gadgets. I fancy myself the family IT guy. It comes in handy when a cell phone goes wrong somewhere. Learning some coding this year.
MY: If you could meet anyone from the past who would it be and why?
OM: Edgar Allen Poe. It would be awesome to sit down with him and discuss his inspirations, dreams, likes, dislikes, so on.
MY: Where do you see myself in five years?
OM: Probably very close to where I am now. Though, I have plans to colaborate with my daughter on my children’s book series. She will be doing the art. I would like to see that take off. But yeah, I’ll be working everyday still writing as a hobby. Not trying to get rich, just writing for that one person that enjoys my work. Gotta keep your fourteen fans happy.
MY: Thank you so much for answering my questions. I think the band is about to start, before they do, could you share an extract from your book.
OM: Of course.
“What are you going to do to us?” screamed Jenny. She couldn’t see anyone, but she could tell someone was there, the light was awful. She heard breathing next to her, she was pinned against what seemed to be a wet, maybe stone or brick wall. The breathing was strained, almost restricted. She couldn’t tell who it was.
“Bill, is that you?” she asked nervously. No reply. “Bill…” she began to talk louder, not knowing who it was or even if he was around. “BILL!” she screamed. No reply. Suddenly, a voice came from nowhere, her heart jumped a beat because the only voice she wanted to hear was Bill’s, but it wasn’t his.
“Scream all you want,” a deep, coarse voice said. “He can’t hear you. Did you enjoy your nap?” She still couldn’t make out whose voice it was, so she tried something.
“Smith, is it you?” Jenny asked. Laughter from across the dark cave echoed.
“No, it’s not your loving Smith. Oh, I nearly forgot. The name’s not Smith. It’s Skinner. Smith is easier to say when you have a mouth of chewing tobacco.”
“What happened to Bill?” she asked, with a sobbing sound to her voice.
“Well, it’s like this.” He paused, thinking. “You don’t remember anything, do you?” he asked, starting to laugh.
“No, w—wh,” her words becoming more difficult to say, the thoughts of something terrible that might have happened floating to the forefront of her mind, “what happened?” She finally was able to muster the words.
“Let me bring you back up to speed, girlie.” He put something down on the card table next to him; Jenny couldn’t see what it was. Skinner slowly walked close to her, maybe three or four inches away. His eyes traveled from hers, down her face and meeting at the rest of her body. Skinner woke himself up from a fantasy and walked back over to the card table. “Once we got back to the office, Bill, your loving husband had a case of bravery and we had to cure him of it. He started fighting back because, after all, he was right. He screamed something about being kidnapped for my own sick twisted pleasure and came at me with a hammer he found on a desk. My .45 took care of him. I plugged about three or four shots into him and ohh…,” he said with a great deal of sadistic joy, “you should have seen him bleed. Strawberries couldn’t put out something so red and so sweet.”
Her crying became more intense, both with the loss of her man, but also with the wondering of what she would have to endure.
“Why don’t I remember?” she screamed as she was crying.
“You don’t remember because you started freaking out and I couldn’t have my children misbehaving, so I had to discipline you. Is your headache more meaningful now?” His tone had contempt and hatred she had never seen or heard before.
After he was done talking, she evaluated her physical state; a great pain just above her left eye, she was finally able to see a portion of her clothing, blood covered the left front of her shirt. She thought maybe she had been hit by a bullet, and then she realized it wasn’t from her, it was from Bill’s gun shot wound. As soon as Bill was shot, she held his head in her lap, these memories were finally coming back to her. Of course, she was passed out when he moved her from what was the office to this dark, musty wet place with hardly no lighting. Her survival mode kicked in and she calmed down, knowing she had to think like him to survive his means.
She looked around, taking mental notes of her surroundings. She saw daylight to her left, but she couldn’t see any opening. She plotted a map in her head. Knowing she was in a cave of a sort, more than likely still on the park property, she envisioned the opening to her left, an area inside the cave close to 1200 square feet, shaped like and ‘L’ , the entrance way to the cave forcing you to take a right into the larger area. But who was the other victim, struggling to breathe to her right? While Skinner was off doing something, all she could hear was him muddling around, walking back and forth mumbling to himself, she looked more intently to her right and saw a face, dirty and bloody.
Where can I purchase this fabulous book?
About the author
Born in 1971 in Battle Creek, Michigan. I am a session bassist, author and work in Inventory Management. Married for 19 years to my Wife, Heather and father to two wonderful children, Jenna Rae (17) and Mason (4). Oh, we have a cat, too. His name is Tank.